Sunday, March 16, 2008

Newbie becomes Twitter convert!

After much encouragement from such cool chicks as Eden, Connie, and Kate during a raucous and rowdy geeky girls get-together last week (martinis may have been involved), I decided to give Twitter one more shot.

And I am SO glad I did! Wow, I HAVE been missing out! Thanks to a few tips from my new Twitter friends on how to use it I totally get it now. Count me in among the throngs in the pro-Twitter camp.

I still don't kid myself that it's mainstream -- or even close to approaching the usability that made facebook and myspace household names -- but it definitely has that potential. And I'm excited to be watching its development from the user perspective!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Newbie is Twittering: I don't get it

At PodCamp Toronto back in February, and in fact at any social media-related meetup or get-together in recent memory, the buzz has been all about Twitter. Twitter, it seems, is the Next Big Thing in social media, the app that everyone is talking about. Most of the folks who led me into the social media space -- Mitch Joel, Michael Seaton, Eden Spodek, Kate Trgovac -- are ardent fans of Twitter.

But I just don't get it.

I have tried, oh how I have tried. I joined Twitter about 6 months ago when hardly anybody I knew was on it; I quickly gave it up as not relevant to me because, as anyone on Twitter knows, it's only as valuable as the people you're following.

Recently, when everyone I know was exhorting me get back on it and follow them, I did... for about two weeks before I lost interest again.

I have no explanation for this except that it's just not for me. I'm really just not all that interested in brief snapshots of what people are thinking about at that moment. Oh, I can definitely see the appeal, and I can definitely understand the incredible value for anyone who can access Twitter via their mobile or handheld, especially those who travel a lot and find themselves stuck in layover and wanting a quick meetup. In fact Twitter was invaluable in the hours after the presentations had wrapped up on the Saturday at PodCamp Toronto -- thanks to Twitter 3 separate groups of people shared notes about their relative locations, and successfully connected at a restaurant that could accommodate 25 people.

But I don't have a handheld, or a mobile with web access, and I'd really rather read the reasoned, fully thought out musings one finds in blog posts than off-the-cuff thoughts on Twitter.

All of which makes me feel oddly disconnected from the social media crowd. Usually I'm among the first to embrace, then evangelize these kinds of tools. So tell me: am I missing something? am I using it wrong? Worse, am I missing out? Or am I just part of the larger mainstream that hasn't caught on to Twitter, and won't until it tips into the popular consciousness like facebook did?